American Red Cross distributes free smoke alarms to help save li - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

American Red Cross distributes free smoke alarms to help save lives

American Red Cross and JFD teamed up to install free smoke detectors in homes Saturday morning. Source: WLBT American Red Cross and JFD teamed up to install free smoke detectors in homes Saturday morning. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

As part of its national Sounding the Alarm campaign, the American Red Cross Mississippi region has joined forces with the Jackson Fire Department in a movement to reduce the number of deaths and injuries in home fires.

“Over half of the fire deaths that we have investigated had no smoke alarms," a Jackson firefighter said. "I have smoke alarms that did not work."

Saturday morning, volunteers installed free smoke detectors inside homes in the Virden Addition Community.

“We are in a national campaign with the entire American Red Cross community to reduce fire deaths by 25 percent over five years, we are in the 4th year of that campaign," Red Cross Regional Preparedness Manager Cheryl Kocurek said. "So far in this campaign, we have documented 416 lives saved, with seven of them here in Mississippi."

Jackson is considered a high-risk city when it comes to fire deaths.

Fire chief Willie Owens rang a memorial bell in honor of seven lives lost in Hinds County in fires last year.

“Smoke alarms are very important because they will wake you up if you are asleep at night," Chief Owens said. "Most of the fires happen at night while you are asleep."

The Mississippi Region Red Cross team will distribute and install the smoke alarms for the next few weeks in April and May. The goal is to install a total of 750.

Bed shakers are available for those who are hearing impaired.

“We install the smoke alarms, we also develop an evacuation plan with the family and we also talk about other risk and hazards,” Chief Owens said.

The Red Cross installs alarms year-round across the state.

For more information, call your local Red Cross office.

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